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WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD) announced today the publication of results of an independent multicenter clinical research trial in Europe that enrolled 419 heart failure patients and demonstrated that elevated levels of galectin-3 in blood, as measured using the BGM Galectin-3
® Test, were significantly predictive of unplanned hospital readmissions and fatal events during the 12 month follow-up period of the trial. 
The physicians who led the study reported that the inclusion of galectin-3 testing into the observational trial's hospital discharge risk planning model significantly improved the accuracy with which patient risk upon discharge could be assigned. Galectin-3 testing correctly identified markedly elevated risk among nearly one-quarter (24.3%) of all patients who, without galectin-3 testing, were otherwise inappropriately placed into the lowest risk category at the time of their initial hospital discharge but who went on to be unexpectedly readmitted to hospital or suffer a fatal event (P-value < 0.001 for the net reclassification improvement statistic).
"This independent clinical research study, conducted with a real world cohort of heart failure patients, further demonstrates the utility of galectin-3 as a sentinel marker for adverse outcomes in heart failure patients after hospital discharge," said Dr. Paul R. Sohmer, President and CEO of BG Medicine, Inc.
In the trial, the results of which were reported in the November 5, 2013 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology, the authors, from four hospitals and university clinics across Spain, further reported that heart failure patients with elevated galectin-3 levels had rates of hospital readmission and fatal events that were 84% higher than those of patients with lower galectin-3 levels (P-value < 0.0001). The higher risk conferred by elevated galectin-3 levels was independent of, and additive to, other clinical risk variables considered for these patients, including impaired kidney function, age, diabetes, anemia, heart failure disease severity, and blood levels of the natriuretic peptide NT-proBNP, sodium and urea (P-value = 0.015 for galectin-3 upon full statistical adjustment). Subjects enrolled in the trial were acute heart failure patients, with commonly associated comorbidities and medication usage patterns, who were consecutively admitted to participating hospital centers. This real world cohort of patients spanned both mildly depressed and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction as well as a broad range of disease severity.